Cowboy Dances

A collection of Traditional Western Square Dances By Lloyd Shaw

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44
COWBOY DANCES
with the left hands. The men find themselves marching around the circle to the right, or counterclockwise, in a sort of serpentine through the oncoming line of ladies, taking the first by the right hand, the next by the left, and so on alter­nately until the call is changed. The ladies, in the meantime, are marching to the left, or clockwise, around the circle, passing to the right and then to the left of the individuals in the oncoming column of men.
(Note: This, of course, is only half of the regular call. But I have found it simpler to start beginners this way, and not to mention the "allemande left" with which this figure always begins until they have become thoroughly familiar with the simple right and left.)
Dance that pretty gal around or simply Everybody dance —Each man chooses the nearest girl to him, the one whose hand he has just reached, and swings her into an old-fashioned two-step, anywhere around the floor. Quite often the two lines are moving unevenly, and there will be a concentration or surplus of girls in one place, while in an­other part of the circle there will be a surplus of men left without partners. It must be explained that each man must run across the circle as quickly as possible and choose the first unengaged girl he meets as his partner. It often helps for some man who is dancing by her to call out Here's an empty so as to make it easier for the lone men to find these stray women, and incidentally this always puts more laugh­ter into the party.
Form a grand circle, put your lady down on your right— All the dancers fall back to the wall and take hands again in a great circle. (Only for the first few times will it be neces­sary to call Put your lady down on your right. As soon as it becomes instinctive to put the lady on the right, we call only Form a grand circle. But until that time it is well to add this phrase and avoid the confusion that otherwise entails.)
Having explained the calls it is well to try it just once with the music, using the calls in the order in which they are given above. If the dancers get in trouble, it is necessary to stop and explain their diflficulties. But usually they catch right on and you can go ahead.
As soon as the dancers are going nicely the call should be varied in order to get them used to following the call. The Circle right, Circle left, and Forivard and back should never






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